British Columbia: Canada Wine Region

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007 at 12:00 am

wineCanada’s most western province, its coastline bordering on the Pacific Ocean. A land of diversity ranging from coastal beaches to the mountain ranges of the Rockies. From big cities ( Vancouver, Victoria ) to the small charming towns of Vancouver Island coastal inlets and the interior.

The province is known for tourism, ski resorts, fishing, orchards, natural wildlife, spectacular forests, and wine.

B.C.’s total land and freshwater area is 95 million hectares, larger than France and Germany combined. Only 30 countries are larger. British Columbia occupies about 10 per cent of Canada’s land surface.

The Okanagan Valley in central British Columbia is the largest and oldest grape growing region in BC.
The region has seen a dramatic increase in its product of red wine.

Terroir french for soil refers to the type and quality of soil, and more broadly to the microclimate and overall environmental conditions, of a vineyard or winemaking region. All these factors impart a unique flavour to the wine.

Red grapes need a longer gowning season than white grapes. Many BC wineries have vineyards in the southern Okanagan region for their red grapes.

Trademark wine products for the Province are crisp, fruity white wines and scrumptious dessert wines, including late harvest wines and Icewines (picked and crushed while frozen).

More and more red wine grapes are being grown in the southern Okanagan and the Similkameen Valleys, where the hot, desert climate and long, northern-latitude growing season create microclimates well suited for many red varietals.

Cool nights in these warmer areas prevent the breakdown of acids caused by constant heat. Plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, among others, are now scattered throughout this southern area.

Pinot noir is also widely planted in British Columbia wine regions. In the southern Okanagan Valley, intense hot, dry summers, coupled with harsh, cold winters, produce quality fruit for a variety of distinctive wines